Sadie Thompson

Overview

Rain, the famous John Colton-Clemence Randolph theatrical adaptation of Somerset Maugham's short story about religious hypocrisy, was such a "hot potato" in 1928 that the Hays Office, Hollywood's self-appointed censorship bureau, would not allow the play to be filmed under its original title. Thus, the silent film version of Rain went out as Sadie Thompson, which happened to be the name of the central character. Gloria Swanson plays Sadie, a woman of loose morals and sordid reputation who travels to the South ...
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Overview

Rain, the famous John Colton-Clemence Randolph theatrical adaptation of Somerset Maugham's short story about religious hypocrisy, was such a "hot potato" in 1928 that the Hays Office, Hollywood's self-appointed censorship bureau, would not allow the play to be filmed under its original title. Thus, the silent film version of Rain went out as Sadie Thompson, which happened to be the name of the central character. Gloria Swanson plays Sadie, a woman of loose morals and sordid reputation who travels to the South Seas, seeking out a new life. She makes little effort to curb her hedonism, especially when she's "entertaining" a group of US marines stationed in the tiny island where she lives. Sadie falls genuinely in love for the first time with marine Raoul Walsh (who also directed the film), which displeases visiting bluenose Lionel Barrymore (a clergyman in the original play, but a private citizen here). Threatening to expose Sadie to the local authorities if she doesn't clear out, the sanctimonious Barrymore declares that the fallen woman can only save herself by embracing the word of God. The repentant Sadie sobbingly promises to do so--whereupon Barrymore, in a moment of weakness, seduces Sadie himself. Barrymore commits suicide, leaving Sadie free to start life over with Walsh. Lip-readers had a field day watching Gloria Swanson mouth the most colorful of obscenities, which were immediately "laundered" by censor-approved subtitles. Current prints of Sadie Thompson are incomplete; the final reel has been reconstructed with reshot titles and still pictures. The film would be remade under the original title Rain in 1932, with Joan Crawford in the lead; 22 years later, a heavily bowdlerized musical version of Rain, starring Rita Hayworth, was released as Miss Sadie Thompson.
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Special Features

New digital transfer from 35mm preservation negative; The many faces of sadie thompson, an illustrated essay; scene comparisons; The lost ending; A gallery of production photographs
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/20/2001
  • UPC: 738329019426
  • Original Release: 1928
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kino Video
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: silent
  • Time: 1:36:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 42,009

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lionel Barrymore Alfred Atkinson
Blanche Frederici Mrs. Atkinson
Gloria Swanson Sadie Thompson
James Marcus Joe Horn
Raoul Walsh Sgt. Tim O'Hara
Charles Lane Dr. McPhail
Florence Midgley Mrs. McPhail
Sophia Artega Ameena
Will Stanton Quartermaster Bates
Technical Credits
William Cameron Menzies Director
Raoul Walsh Director, Screenwriter
George Barnes Cinematographer
John Colton Screenwriter
Robert Kurrle Cinematographer
W. Somerset Maugham Source Author
C. Gardner Sullivan Editor
Gloria Swanson Producer
William Tummel Asst. Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Titles [6:01]
2. Trader Horn's [8:46]
3. The Brazen Woman [10:36]
4. The Smitten Sergeant [8:53]
5. An Officer of Salvation [10:19]
6. Contemplating a Future [5:23]
7. Squaring Off [5:53]
8. Conviction [9:18]
9. A Tortured Redemption [6:01]
10. O'Hara's Final Try [8:00]
11. Sadie Reborn [6:37]
12. The Restored Ending [10:40]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Feature
   Chapters
   Extras
      Background Essay
         The True Sadie
         Sadie on Stage
         Big Screen Sadie
      Scene Comparisons
         Meet Sadie Thompson
            Miss Thompson
            Rain
            Sadie Thompson
            Rain
         Sadie's Wrath Unleashed
            Miss Thompson
            Rain
            Sadie Thompson
            Rain
      The Lost Ending
         The Kino Restoration
         The Original Screenplay
         Rain (the 1932 Remake)
      Photo Gallery
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